Man goes to parents’ Oakland County home, uses brother’s old phone to download nude photos of children

Evan Leonard facing charges

Evan Andrew Leonard (Michigan Sex Offender Registry)

HUNTINGTON WOODS, Mich. – A 39-year-old man was arrested for going to his parents’ home in Oakland County while they were out of town and using his brother’s old phone and a work laptop to download pictures of nude children, authorities said.

Michigan State Police officials said they were doing an online investigation to catch people sharing child pornography when they noticed a download from an IP address in Oakland County.

Between 11:52 p.m. Feb. 24 and 3:17 a.m. Feb. 25, eight files were downloaded, police said. Officials used a computer running investigative BitTorrent software to establish a direct connection to the device at the IP address in question.

A special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations reviewed the images and determined that five of them met the definition of child pornography. They included nude images of multiple girls between 6 and 10 years old and one teenage boy, according to the criminal complaint.

Police traced the IP address to a home in Huntington Woods, they said. That residence is known to be where the parents of Evan Andrew Leonard live, authorities said.

Leonard, 39, of Grosse Pointe Park, became a registered sex offender in Michigan after he was convicted of knowingly possessing child pornography in July 2017, according to records. In that case, an undercover officer had downloaded child pornography from Leonard using investigative BitTorrent software.

Leonard is currently on supervised release.

A warrant was obtained for the Huntington Woods home, and an agent questioned Leonard on Wednesday (May 11) in Detroit before executing the warrant, the criminal complaint says.

During the interview, Leonard admitted to downloading child pornography at his parents’ house while they were away for the winter, according to authorities. He said he had used his brother’s old iPhone and a laptop from work, but he destroyed both devices, officials said.

Leonard told the agent that he was aware of the ability of peer-to-peer software to share files, but he claimed he closes the outgoing ports to prevent sharing, according to the criminal complaint.

Two devices, an iPhone and a laptop, were seized during a search at the Huntington Woods home, police said.

The criminal complaint concludes that there is probable cause to charge Leonard with receipt and distribution of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.